One evening just before the great Broadway musical star, Mary Martin, was to go on stage in South Pacific, a note was handed to her. It was from Oscar Hammerstein, who was that moment was on his deathbed. The short note simply said: "Dear Mary, a bell's not a bell till you ring it. A song's not a song until you sing it. Love in your heart is not put there to stay. Love isn't love till you give it away."
This is the hope of our Christianity. This is the ultimate goal. Love is our calling.
What does love look like? Let's visit with an early believer from the year 320.
"What does it look like? It has hands to help others, feet to hasten to the poor and needy, eyes to see misery and want, ears that hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like."Read: 2 Peter 1:3-9
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
We are to add to our faith goodness and knowledge and self-control and perseverance and godliness and brotherly kindness and now love. When we walk with the Lord in the 7 Habits of Effective Living we end where we would expect ... we end with love.
This is no pansy love. This is some gritty stuff that will sacrifice self for others. This is the love of the basin and the towel of a God that washes feet. This is the love of Jesus Christ who would rather die then live without us. This is the love of sacrifice.
As we walk in the Lord we grow in love. I used to think the highest goal was godliness but now you can see that there are two things that grow out of that godliness .... a love for believers and a love for the world.
I think it is interesting and possibly natural that love flows out of 2 things:
1. A vibrant walk with Jesus Christ
2. Fellowship with others
We will find love easier to express as we are experiencing it from our Lord (add to your faith godliness) and from other believers (add to your faith brotherly kindness).
What is the enemy of love? Is it busyness? Is it distraction? Is it worldliness? Is it spiritual immaturity? It is probably a bunch of things. Our love for the world is a testimony to the world. Our sacrificial love is evidence of the work of God in the Church.
When is the last time you mowed a neighbor's yard just to help out? When is the last time you helped a neighbor take care of their sick parent? When is that last time you drove a neighbor to help pick up their car? When is the last time you shared Christ with a lost friend? When is the last time you stopped to talk with the greeter at Walmart? When is that last time you offered to have Bunco at your house? When is the last time you gave money to help a person that was not a believer? When was the last time you took time to write an encouraging note to a lost neighbor?
There are many opportunities to love sacrificially if we will have the hands, feet, eyes and ears that Augustine talks about. You are the hands of Jesus to a dying world today. Join the journey. Live Love.
DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.